Monday, July 13, 2020

Shopping more online? Take heed to these 7 simple safety tips

While COVID-19 is hurting in-store traffic for most American retailers, e-commerce sites have experienced a huge surge in activity.

Amazon, for example, reported a 26% jump in revenue during the first three months of 2020, especially after stay-at-home orders were first introduced, compared to the same period a year ago.

The trend continued – nay, accelerated – well into the spring, with data from Adobe Analytics’ Digital Economy Index suggesting all U.S. online sales have increased by as much as 49% in April compared to pre-COVID-19 numbers.

But, as you might suspect, with this spike in online shopping comes a stark increase in problems from it, says the Federal Trade Commission.

In April and May 2020, the FTC received more than 34,000 complaints from consumers related to online shopping, many of which were tied to ordered items not received. The May numbers alone represent a nearly twofold increase over the number of reports received during the busy holiday shopping season last December. Other issues were tied to receiving an incorrect or damaged item, misleading product information and fraud.

And so, to ensure a smooth online shopping experience, take heed to these following seven safety tips:

  1. Look for the lock (a secure internet connection)
  2. Pay securely
  3. Update your software
  4. Do your homework
  5. Dig for the data
  6. Use good passwords; avoid scams [I don' think 7 characters is a strong enough password. I'd suggest at least 10 characters.]
  7. Don't shop in a hotspot

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